Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 102: ESV MacArthur Study Bible For Free?

I love freebies. There is nothing like getting something for nothing, especially when it is the new ESV MacArthur Study Bible. I wanted one of these since I heard they were going to be released, and low and behold I get one for free directly from Grace To You. I like to think that Johnny Mac or Phil Johnson packaged mine up and sent it from their California headquarters. Nah, probably not.

What a great ministry this is from Grace To You. I receive several offers for "free" items throughout the year. This is only the second I actually requested, the first was "The Gospel According To Jesus" last year. I did make a donation that covered the price of the book and shipping, so it was not really free to me, but also felt that GTY should be reimbursed for their time and book. I do assume that there are others that are not able to send a donation to GTY for the products they offer, which is why t is a ministry and not really a full fledged business.

This is usually the point in my blog where I segue to a spiritual application, but I think I already made the spiritual application already. A ministry is not in "it" for the revenue, they are in it to further the Kingdom and to glorify the Lord. They may have to run things somewhat like a business, but don't think that the folks at Grace To You, Real Truth Matters or Desiring God forget who their Boss is for one second.

It is refreshing to see ministries put things online for free, including full books and audio messages. There are many out there that are in "it" for profit, to line their own pockets. This is a sad reality within professing Christians. I see it almost everywhere, especially on some un-named TV stations that have the letters TB and N or TC and another T in their names. Most of the time it is marketed as "planting a seed of faith" which is theoretically code for send me your money and you'll get more back. While this is a biblical principle, it is being grossly misrepresented to the public. No wonder so many are disillusioned about Christianity. Just today in a comments thread of a local news outlet I saw Al Mohler likened to Jim Jones, lumped in with the wackos from Westboro, called illiterate and told he needed to repent of being judgmental just because he cautioned professing Christians about participating in YOGA. Most of those comments were from professing Christians themselves, who must not know anything about Mohler. But it just shows how even solid biblical leaders can be lumped in with the filth and garbage that the world gladly accepts as "Christian", just because they say they are.

Judge a ministry by their fruits. Do not support the downright wacky ones, but also make sure you are discerning enough to also pick out the ones that seem to walk the wall, occasionally dipping a toe in biblical things, but also dipping another toe in the world and emotionalism. There are many established ministries that could use your financial support and more importantly you prayer support. Do not think that just because you cannot send them money that you cannot send the Father your prayers for them, the One that supplies their needs anyway.

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